After more than five months with its busy list of motions, hearings and trials almost entirely suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Philadelphia court system held its first preliminary hearing Monday. Little more than a week before that, the court system also handled its first bench trial.

Although access to Pennsylvania’s largest court system remains very limited and the district’s safety protocols remain in flux, the proceedings—held both virtually and in person—are the first signs that the freeze imposed on the First Judicial District in March is beginning to thaw.

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